Earlier this year Will Barada invited the members of his leadership forum to contribute articles for this blog that might be of interest to our readers from the HR and recruiting industries. This post, by Heather Haas President at Advisa, is the third in that contributed series.
How is managing your energy different from managing your time? And why should you care?
Energy is a renewable resource. Time is not. We feel energized, alive and at our best when we get to use our strengths at work and pursue our passions. We are most fulfilled when we feel productive, which is quite different from busy. Being busy all day long and yet not feeling fulfilled or content is a red flag that our energy reserves are being slowly depleted – task by task, meeting by meeting, and email by email, with no replenishment in sight. The good news is that we have complete control over the choices we make all day long. That’s right, complete control. We just get busy and forget, letting other people’s agendas reign supreme over our work and home lives.
Here are three tips for regaining control so you can manage your energy, not your time.
1) Call a quick time out. Grab a coffee or glass or wine and spend 30 minutes reflecting on what gives you energy and makes you happy. List those things. Reflect on the things and people that drain your energy and steal your time. List those things. Then, identify one change you can make so that you’re doing more of what gives you energy and less of what doesn’t. Small changes really can make a big difference. That truth alone is energizing.
2) “No.” is a complete sentence. Remember, you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Saying “no” to things that don’t fit with your top priorities is liberating and important to do. It’s what puts you in control of your life. The reality is that you will prioritize and protect the important few things only by saying “no” to the trivial many. YOU will either set your priorities or someone else will. There’s no in between. The environment you allow is the one you create.
3) Bring more of who you are to what you do. That starts with knowing who you are. What are your strengths and talents? Can you describe those to someone? How would someone close to you describe your strengths? Do you get to use your top three strengths at work? If not, why not? Are you in the wrong job? Are you working for someone you do not respect or working for a company whose mission is uninspiring or unclear? What’s stopping you from taking steps to create more alignment between who you are and what you do? Being a different person at work than you are in your non-work life is absolutely exhausting. Take the first step toward changing that. If it’s gaining clarity about your strengths, take an assessment like the Predictive Index® to build self-awareness. If it’s having a conversation with your supervisor at work about taking on some new challenges, then set up a meeting to discuss them. If it’s talking to your spouse about a career change, then have the conversation.
I hope this post provided some insight or sparked some positive action in your life. If you are interested in taking the Predictive Index personality assessment or the EQ-i 2.0 emotional intelligence assessment and debriefing with a professional coach, let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org. At ADVISA, helping people and organizations reach their potential is our passion.